Gitwinksihlkw: At Home on the Nass River

One of four Nisga'a communities, Gitwinksihlkw is located on the north bank of the Nass River 100 kilometres northwest of Terrace, British Columbia. Home to 250 residents, Gitwinksihlkw offers cultural rich history, natural beauty, and access to Canada's newest lava bed.

An Enduring History
Canada's last volcanic eruption occurred in Nisga'a territory approximately 250 years ago. The lava destroyed everything in its path, sparked fires in the surrounding forests, and covered two Nisga'a villages. More than 2,000 people perished. Survivors eventually resettled Gitwinksihlkw (Place of the Lizards). According to oral tradition, large lizards lived here before the eruption. Today, the lizards are gone but the vast lava beds still dominate the valley. They serve as a memorial to those who lost their lives and as a reminder of the importance of respect-for both the natural world and the wisdom of the elders.

A Remarkable Destination
Situated at the edge of the Nass River and Anhluut'ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga'asanskwhl (Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park), Gitwinksihlkw enjoys one of British Columbia's most dramatic natural settings. Nisga'a Highway 113 paves the way for ease of access to our village and each year, the number of visitors continues to grow.

Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park is a popular destination with a 16 site campground and a Visitors Centre displaying Nisga'a artifacts (open July and August). Join us for guided tours of the lava beds, sport fishing, backcountry excursions, a stroll across the Nass River on a 400-foot long extension bridge, or simply stop and admire our majestic pts'aan (totem poles) that tell of Nisga'a history, culture, and clan relationships. Be sure to stop by Nass Bridges Tourist Information Centre and Gift Shop. Local stores serve the community and Bed & Breakfast accommodation is available in Gitwinksihlkw and other villages.